Tolderol Game Reserve

  • Picnic Areas
  • Camping
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
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Photo by Peter Koch
Tolderol Game Reserve - State locator map

Pack your binoculars, bird book and camping gear and experience waking up to wide variety of water fowl and migratory wader bird species which call this park home.

About

Tolderol Game Reserve is a protected area of 428 hectares on the north-western side of Lake Alexandrina. 

The game reserve was proclaimed in 1970 and consists of a series of man made open and shallow basins with connecting channels and levee banks. These levees enable the manipulation of water levels to create rich foraging habitat for migratory wader birds.

Tolderol is a well-regarded bird watching location, reed beds along the lake shore, grassy banks and shallow basins attract a wide variety of water fowl and migratory wader bird species.

Being a game reserve there is a short duck hunting open season permitted in a designated area of the reserve and adjacent lakeshore (depending on seasonal conditions).

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact details

Natural Resource Office - Murray Bridge

Phone: (+61 8) 8532 9100

For booking enquiries please email:

DEWNR.SAMDBOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

When to visit

To make the most of bird watching opportunities, visit during late spring and summer to see the migratory wader species flock to the area.

Getting there

The reserve is approximately 11km south-east of the township of Langhorne Creek between Milang and Wellington.

Follow the Langhorne Creek to Wellington Road, turn right onto Dog Lake Road (unsealed). At the end of this road (approximately 9 kilometres), travel through the gate (please ensure you leave the gate as you found it). Follow the track to the left, then through another gate and into the reserve. 

The road is suitable for conventional vehicles. The main track inside the reserve is also suitable for all vehicles.

Please stick to the main vehicle tracks and avoid driving on the levy banks.

Pets in parks

Dogs are only permitted in the park during duck hunting season.

Facilities

Please ensure that you are self sufficient when visiting this park. Other than a picnic table at the end of the main track, on the edge of the Lake, there are no facilities.

Useful information

Traditional owners

Aboriginal South Australians are the first peoples of our State and have occupied, enjoyed and managed these lands and waters since the creation. For SA's First Peoples, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

Aboriginal peoples' oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters, including South Australian Parks. These stories interconnect land and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance. We recognise and respect Aboriginal people's ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. It is through these rights and cultural obligations and a shared goal to protect the environment for generations to come that DEWNR is committed to meaningful collaboration and involvement with Aboriginal peoples in the management of our shared parks.

See and Do

 

Stay in the park

Camping is permitted within the designated sites available on the banks of Lake Alexandrina.

Please prepare to be self sufficient when camping in this park as there are no facilities.

Bushwalking

There are no designated walking trails in this park.

Please be aware snakes are common, be sure to wear appropriate footwear.

Bird watching

This park is something of a mecca for bird watchers with almost 150 different bird species recorded in the area.

A wide variety of water birds can usually be found here including: ducks, spoonbills, egrets, herons, ibis, swans, geese, grebes, darters, pelicans, dotterels, plovers, lapwings, crakes, rails, stilts and avocets.

Other species recorded include hawks, harriers, eagles, kites, terns, gulls, sandpipers, stints and other small wading birds.

There are extensive areas of samphire, reed and sedges with large open areas of water. A series of seventeen ponds have been constructed, some of which are flooded to provide habitat for the waterbirds which use the reserve. Additional areas primarily covered with common reed can be found along the edge of Lake Alexandrina up to Tolderol Point.

Duck hunting (seasonal)

Each duck hunting season differs in duration, bird species and daily bag limits.

There is a large no hunting zone which applies all year round, with hunting not permitted over the artificial wetland basins, this area is managed for migratory wader birds. Nearly all hunting occurs around the lakes edge using small aluminium boats.

We are working together with Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia (CHASA) to promote ethical and responsible hunting. Tolderol Game Reserve is an example of conservation organisations, individuals and nongovernment organisations working together for the benefit of waterfowl conservation. 

For up to date information please check the duck and quail open season page of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources website.

Know before you go:

  • Please respect all users of the area including hunters, bird-watchers and fishers.
  • Hunting on Tolderol Game Reserve is managed to be sustainable.
  • Hunters, through CHASA, contribute money and volunteer time to maintain habitat for all wetland birds.
  • Behave and hunt in a responsible manner.
  • Obey all laws and regulations.
  • Carry a current hunting permit.
  • Hunt only in the designated hunting area.
  • Do not set up within 100m of another hunter without consent.
  • Leave no litter and pick up spent cartridges and wads.
  • Dress your game away from camping areas.
  • Keep camping areas clean.
  • Remember to fill in your season bag survey forms and send them to CHASA.

4WDriving

Visitors are recommended to stay on the main tracks.

4WD vehicles can access the narrow levi banks for bird watching, however be aware that opportunities to turn around are very limited.

Volunteering

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources South East – Volunteering.

Want to join others and become a Park Friend?

To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.

You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.

 

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • keep to defined walking trails and follow the trail markers
  • wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • carry sufficient drinking water
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Camping

When camping in a National Park, it's important to remember the following:

  • Always let someone responsible know your travel plans, especially when travelling in remote areas. It's a good idea to let them know when you expect to return.
  • Check the weather forecast before you leave, including overnight temperatures on the Bureau of Meteorology. Even during very mild weather, the nights can get very cold. 
  • The quality and quantity of water cannot be guaranteed within parks. Please bring plenty of water and food to be self-sufficient.
  • Always camp in designated sites (where applicable) - do not camp beneath trees with overhanging branches, as they can drop without warning. It's also a good idea to check that there no insect nests nearby.
  • Check to make sure you're not camping in a natural waterway, flash floods can happen anytime.
  • If camp fires are permitted, you must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Extinguish your camp fire with water (not sand or dirt) until the hissing sound stops.
  • Ensure that you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Fire

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Gas fires are permitted, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

  • hunting is permitted during declared open season only, obtain permits
  • dogs are permitted during declared hunting season only
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • be careful of snakes, they are common in the area
  • do not bring generators or chainsaws into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.
  • important: collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Maps

Park maps

Maps on your mobile

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the free Avenza PDF Map app and have interactive national park maps on hand when you need them.

The app uses your device's built-in GPS to plot your real-time location within the park onto a map. The app can be used without a network connection and without roaming charges. You can also measure area and distance, plot photos and drop placemark pins. 

How to get it working on your device:

1. Download the Avenza PDF maps app from the app store whilst you are still in range (its free!).
2. Open up the app and click the shopping cart icon.
3. Click ‘Find’ and type the name of the national park or reserve you are looking for.
4. Click on the map you are after and install it (all our maps are free).
5. You will now find a list of your installed maps on the home page of the Avenza app.
6. Use our maps through the Avenza PDF map app while in the park and never take a wrong turn again.

Fees

Entry fees

Entry to this park is free, however fees apply for camping.

Camping

Fees apply to camp in this park.

You must pay for your camping online before you arrive, as cash self-registration stations are no longer in use in this park.

If you are planning a trip for a school group or other large group, please ensure you let the park know of your intentions.

Alternative booking and payment options

Cash payments for Limestone Coast Parks can be made at the following agents:

PDF Park Brochure